The European Parliament’s decision not to immediately pass the new EU Copyright Directive in July was seen by many as a major setback. It was defeated by 318 to 278, a margin of 40 votes. This means the proposed legislation now moves forward to a full plenary debate and vote next Wednesday 12 September.

As the music industry faces this pivotal moment, it is worth reflecting how we got here and what we are now facing.

The creative industries as a whole have long argued that embryonic digital legislation passed in the mid 1990s is outdated and simply not fit for purpose. The legislative process is slow at the best of times. Meanwhile, the tech industry “moved fast and broke things,” incurring the wrath of creators whose livelihoods have been upended as a result.

The publication of the draft EU Copyright Directive in late 2016 was an achievement in itself. Not only did the draft legislation address copyright protection and safe harbour loopholes, it also contained provisions concerning fairness and transparency towards creators. Following further debate and lobbying, is even more of an achievement that the key elements of the draft directive remain mostly intact.

The Directive has not been without it’s critics, as is the case with any proposed legislation. Academics, libraries and dignitaries such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee have all put forth concerns. We in the music industry can acknowledge some concerns as understandable even if we believe they are unfounded.

What is not understandable are the thoroughly vile and dishonest tactics deployed during the course of this year, whose objective is to stop the legislation in its tracks at any cost. The scale of this activity reads like set pieces straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook.

Some in the music industry have questioned how we fight back given the vast funding involved and the sheer scale of this enterprise. But fight back we must and the actions of those we face only serve to give us greater strength.

As any Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster will tell you: use your opponents’ force against them. In this case, we should call out the deceitful actions from within the tech sector and elsewhere and those actions speak louder than any words.

  • The Financial Times reported some MEPs received death threats

  • MEPs were each bombarded with over 60,000 emails from bots

  • These emails contained identical content according to The Trichordist

  • The same blog named the domain name from which a large number of these emails originated and its link to a US Inc. entity.

  • The same tactics have been found on Twitter: multiple bot accounts promoting #SaveOurInternet and similar hashtags

  • This contrasts to real world protests that only drew a few hundred protestors combined across Europe. The bots did not show up.


These actions must also be viewed against the current backdrop where tech firms have been scrutinised for avoiding responsibility concerning:

  • Blatantly dishonest content

  • Content that incites hatred and violence

  • Little accountability in how such content is disseminated

  • Minimal transparency in how user data is abused in facilitating all this

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are amongst those tech executives rebuked by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, for failing to take responsibility and failing to act in managing their own platforms. This is reflective of a broader failure that lies at the heart of a misguided and libertarian ideal, that somehow tech firms are exempt from laws and rules that govern the rest of the world.

The music industry and broader creative and media industries are made up of real people, filled with passion and blood pumping through their veins. They compose their own emails, speak to politicians and show up in person.

At the UK Music organized #LoveMusic busking event in London earlier today, artists, executives and even politicians turned out in support. Artists such as Brett Anderson, Ed Harcourt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Newton Faulkner and BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt. In addition a number of cross party British MPs who support the directive including Tom Watson, Nigel Evans and Kevin Brennan were amongst those in attendance.

One has to ask, if those opposing the EU Copyright Directive have such a compelling argument, why do they resort to such deceitful means? If we judge their actions, the arguments of those opposed to the directive hold no legitimacy and the European Parliament should vote in favour of the directive.

Andy Edwards, music manager and consultant

03 Apr 2020 | Press release

The Official Top 40 Biggest Singles and Albums of 2020 so far – end of Q1

The Weeknd's Blinding Lights takes early singles lead Viral TikTok hits from Roddy Ricch, Doja Cat and Trevor Daniel make strong impact Eminem, J Hus and BTS among biggest new albums of the year so far while Lewis Capaldi's debut continues its...more

03 Apr 2020 | Press release

Danny Howard moves to coveted 9pm slot in BBC Radio 1 Friday night schedule

BBC Radio 1 launches a new Friday night schedule which will see presenters Danny Howard, Annie Mac and Pete Tong continue to showcase the station’s premiere electronic music talent, with Howard moving to the 9-11pm show from this Friday (3rd...more

03 Apr 2020 | Press release

"Get your hit together": BMAT rolls out initiative to help music creators to maximize royalties in response to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to disturb the world economy, emerging music artists are among the most financially affected. With tours being canceled so that ticket sales are no longer bringing in revenue and with both labels and independent artists...more

03 Apr 2020 | Press release

ERA pays tribute to long-time Chairman and indie record store pioneer Paul Quirk

The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has paid tribute to former Chairman Paul Quirk who died yesterday (April 2) at home after a short battle with cancer.ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, "ERA is indebted to Paul Quirk. Not only was he...more

02 Apr 2020 | Press release

Marathon Music Group Appoints Ophelia Conheady as Head of A&R for Marathon Artists imprint

Marathon Music Group has announced the appointment of Ophelia Conheady as Head of A&R for its main label imprint, Marathon Artists. Highly regarded by both the artist community and her music industry peers, Ophelia joins the company from her previous position...more

02 Apr 2020 | Press release

Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group appoints John Leahy as SVP Marketing and Strategy

The role is the first created since Chrysalis Records returned to releasing new music   Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group today further strengthened their senior team with the appointment of John Leahy in the newly created position of SVP Marketing and Strategy. Leahy...more

02 Apr 2020 | Press release

Jaguar announces a new home for undiscovered electronic music on BBC Radio 1: BBC Introducing Dance

  BBC Radio 1 are set to launch a brand new home for undiscovered dance music this Sunday night, designed solely to showcase the next wave of emerging electronic talent. At the helm is rising star and trusted tastemaker and DJ, Jaguar.Following on...more

02 Apr 2020 | Press release

Music sector joins together to call for EU and national investment to address current crisis and promote diversity

Music is one of the first sectors hit by the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. It will also be one of the last. As borders close, venues as well as festivals suspend their activities, performances are cancelled, group activity is stopped, shops close,...more

02 Apr 2020 | Press release

Virgin EMI presents Lockdown Live


02 Apr 2020 | Press release

Toolroom has appointed electronic music specialist Dispersion PR to handle the company's media communications

In its second decade of operations, Dispersion PR has a client list which takes in underground stalwarts like Rekids, Cocoon and Phantasy as well as Ministry of Sound, BMG and Polydor.    'We're really inspired by Toolroom's growing operations and ambition,' said...more

02 Apr 2020 | Press release

Mike Smith stands down as MD of Warner Chappell UK

GUY & CARIANNE STATEMENT “Mike’s decided to leave the company for family reasons.  He’s been an integral part of the Warner Chappell story over the last few years and we’re grateful for everything he’s achieved.  We’re sorry to see him leave...more

02 Apr 2020 | Press release

Liverpool Sound City 'Guest House'

The urgency for Guest House came from the situation forced upon us all by the global outbreak of the Coronavirus. Guest House allows musicians to maintain desperately needed income during this difficult time and it also allows fans to get...more

01 Apr 2020 | Press release

Supporting music collectives during COVID-19: Ballantine's x Boiler Room

An update from Boiler Room x Ballantine's True Music projectAs I'm sure you've experienced first-hand the worsening situation of COVID-19 has exposed the real fragility of underground music. From mass cancellations, to restricted access to resources, with artists and other members...more

01 Apr 2020 | Press release

Introducing... LiveFrom Events

Your Streaming as a Service Provider LiveFrom Events is our simple-to-use Streaming as a Service platform. We wanted to make it easyfor creators, producers and artists to run small intimate shows and yet connect and engage with all their fans worldwide.And...more

01 Apr 2020 | Press release

ARA, A2IM, MAC, NMPA, NSAI, Recording Academy, RIAA, and Sona join forces on website offering guidance, resources for music community

  Leading artist rights organizations including the Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), the Music Artists Coalition (MAC), National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Recording Academy, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),...more

01 Apr 2020 | Press release

British Landlords Unite with Tenants for a Collective Response to Prevent Major Loss of Business

It is fantastic news that so many Landlords from across the UK have joined with us at this very difficult time. We are of course, all in this together which is why The NTIA and many British Landlords are asking...more

01 Apr 2020 | Press release

Jason Mraz signs new global multi-recordings deal with BMG

As announced this morning on Jason Mraz's newly launched weekly livestreamed series, "La La La Livestream," Grammy Award-winning, multi-Platinum artist Jason Mraz has signed a new global recordings agreement with BMG. The multi-album deal encompasses three full-length studio recordings with...more

31 Mar 2020 | Press release

BBC's Bob Harris OBE and Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett join the Americana Music Association UK Board

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31 Mar 2020 | Press release

AIM hosts first music business conference adapted to virtual format in response to Covid-19


31 Mar 2020 | Press release

One Media iP Group plc reports strong set of FY19 results

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31 Mar 2020 | Press release

Beatport Presents: ReConnect, A Global Music Event

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31 Mar 2020 | Press release

SyncFloor Partners with Motor Music, Launches Motor Music SyncSite

  SyncFloor, the commercial music marketplace, is announcing its partnership with Motor Music, bringing the label's catalog to more potential sync buyers via its newly launched Motor Music SyncSite. SyncFloor's SyncSites allow its rights holder partners to surface a sync-oriented website...more

31 Mar 2020 | Press release

BMG appoints Dan Pounder as Co-Head of BMG Production Music

BMG has further strengthened the leadership of its fast-growing BMG Production Music (BMGPM) business unit with the appointment of Dan Pounder to head finance, operations and systems. He will jointly run BMGPM with EVP & Global Managing Director John Clifford. BMG...more

30 Mar 2020 | Press release

Music Industry Rallies To Support Independent Music Retail With #recordstoreoftheday Campaign

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30 Mar 2020 | Press release

Hipgnosis acquires music catalogue of Richie Sambora

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30 Mar 2020 | Press release

Stay at home with 3 months free HiFi and Family from Deezer

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30 Mar 2020 | Press release

UK Music appoints Tom Watson as new UK Music Chair

UK Music has appointed former Shadow Culture Secretary Tom Watson as the new chair of UK Music. He succeeds outgoing chair Andy Heath CBE and will start in April at UK Music, the umbrella body for the whole of the commercial...more

30 Mar 2020 | Press release

Grassroots music venues in crisis – Music Venue Trust call to action

  Music Venue Trust is calling on the music industry, cultural sector and the UK’s most successful musicians to come together to create a £1 million fighting fund to prevent the permanent closure of hundreds of Grassroots Music Venues across the UK. Despite Government action, over 550 Grassroots Music Venues remain...more

30 Mar 2020 | Press release

IMPEL expands to Latin America

Deal with LatinAutor will allow IMPEL to license and collect across Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and moreIMPEL has expanded its services to Latin America after signing a licensing and administration agreement with LatinAutor.LatinAutor (also known as One Stop Shop) is a...more

30 Mar 2020 | Press release

Sentric makes Business Affairs and Data Science hires

Loren McShane joins as Head of Legal and Business AffairsDr. Joe Watson takes Data Scientist roleSentric Music Group has made two important additions to its team with the hiring of Loren McShane as Head of Legal and Business Affairs, and...more

03 Apr 2020

  • Mike Smith stands down as Warner Chappell MD (see Business)

  • European music organisations urge increase of budgets dedicated to music (see News)

02 Apr 2020

  • Spotify and Warner Music Group announce renewed global licensing partnership (see Business)

  • Blue Raincoat appoints John Leahy; Marathon appoints Ophelia Conheady (see Business)

01 Apr 2020

  • Kobalt reports increased losses but strong revenue growth (see Business)

  • Vivendi closes sale of stake in Universal Music Group to Tencent consortium (see Business)

  • TikTok strikes short-term licensing deals with majors (see Digital)

  • Eurovision Song Contest to be broadcast in live, non-competitive format (see Media)

31 Mar 2020

  • Tom Watson appointed Chair of UK Music (see Business)

  • OCC and ERA working to expand the number of independent retailers reporting home delivery sales to the Official Charts (see News)

30 Mar 2020

  • Hipgnosis acquires Richie Sambora catalogue (see Deals)

  • PPL announces £87.6m Q1 distribution, plus additional measures to help the music community (see News)

  • MMF and FAC survey suggests £50m has been lost to the wider music economy (see Analysis)

27 Mar 2020

  • Music industry welcomes 'vital lifeline' for self-employed, but warns two month wait too long (see News)

  • Download and Isle of Wight festivals cancelled (see News)

26 Mar 2020

  • Radio 1, 6 Music to streamline schedules; Annie Mac comes off air (see Media)

  • SpotifyPRS For Music and Help Musicians launch coronavirus relief fund (see News)

25 Mar 2020

  • BMG report 10.1% revenue rise for 2019 (see Business)

  • IMPALA's Covid-19 Task Force publishes package of ten recommendations (see News)

24 Mar 2020

  • The Great Escape 2020 has been cancelled (see News)

23 Mar 2020

  • HMV closes all 120 of its UK stores due to coronavirus (see Business)

  • Kenny Rogers dies (see News)

  • Industry calls for help for self-employed (see Comment)